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Dragnet (1987)



Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 15

While it's sporadically funny and certainly well-cast, Dragnet is too clumsy and inconsistent to honor its classic source material.


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

While it's sporadically funny and certainly well-cast, Dragnet is too clumsy and inconsistent to honor its classic source material.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 34,640

My Rating

Movie Info

Dan Aykroyd must have practiced for months to perfect his Jack Webb inflections for Dragnet. Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz's directorial debut (also written by Mankiewicz, along with Aykroyd, and Alan Zweibel) is a gentle spoof of the legendary '50s television police drama -- pitting '50s conservatism smack up against the attitudes of the '80s. Basically, the film is another 48 Hours or Beverly Hills Cop clone. Aykroyd stars as Joe Friday, the nephew of the original Friday. But with his brown

Oct 27, 1998

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (15) | DVD (8)

More innocuous than inventive.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most of the time it's fresh, funny, and surprising.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Entertaining enough, but a pity they didn't draft in more of the Eisenhower context.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Aykroyd and Mr. Hanks play well together, but the funniest performance in the film is that of Dabney Coleman, as the smut king (who lisps).

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The script is a gold mine of one-liners.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's fun a lot of the time. Several individual shots are hilarious.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It simply doesn't come off, and the viewer will be left with an empty feeling, a vacuous notion that somehow the laugh scenes slipped by unnoticed. They were never really there.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Aykroyd's script has more than its share of clever, witty ideas, but the film still feels the need to descend way too often to Police Academy-style heroes-dress-up-like-idiots sequences.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Deservedly a critical and box-office fiasco.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Annoying comedy.

May 24, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Strident pop-culture revisionism.

June 22, 2004
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

A comedy classic, Hanks and Aykroyd are great

March 4, 2004

Quite a fun take-off of a boring TV show.

August 30, 2002

"the interplay of Aykroyd and Hanks makes it worthwhile"

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Barely recommendable buddy-cop schtick-fest.

July 27, 2002

One wonders how someone can do so many parodies as Aykroyd has and still not have the slightest idea of how to do a parody.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Dragnet


Classic 80's comedy with Hanks in his silly prime and Aykroyd when he was in everything haha.
There are some genius moments of comedy gold in this film that just elevate it, its much like the 'Starsky n Hutch' or 'The Dukes of Hazzard' remakes in which they sent up the original somewhat but keep it close to its original format in terms of concepts.

Its really underrated and overlooked frankly, the pairing of Hanks n Aykroyd is fantastic, Aykroyd being so so funny as a stuck up jobsworth and Hanks is perfect in a slick laidback role much like his other 80's characters. Its all very cheesy but there's some good action in here, nice soundtrack and excellent cast, wish they made em like this still hehe.
December 5, 2011

Super Reviewer

Why Mankiewicz?, Why Leonard?, Why Ackroyd?, Why Zweibel?, Why Dragnet is not so good?
May 26, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

'Dragnet' is the movie Dan Aykroyd must have lived his whole life (up till then) to make. It is truly a moment of cosmic destiny that sees him donning the guise of Sgt. Joe Friday, nephew of the original, and it fits him like a glove, Aykroyd himself has never been better. The machine-gun verbal delivery he honed to perfection on 'Saturday Night Live' is given its best showcase here, and even though Tom Hanks is on board as well and is very likable and funny, make no mistake- this is Dan Aykroyd's show all the way. The best moments of 'Dragnet' come when he spews his rapid-fire dialogue at anyone and everyone; quoting regulations, lecturing bad guys and co-workers alike on everything from sex to zoo animals, declaring his love for Los Angeles and its police department, and generally being so straight a straight-arrow, you wonder if he's ever told a lie in his life. Conviction is one thing that Aykroyd's Joe Friday is definitely not lacking. And that is really the fun of 'Dragnet;' it takes you inside Friday's world, a place without too much in common with modern-day reality, but a place he believes so firmly in that you can't help but be sucked inside. Hanks' Pep Streebeck is there as a sort of reminder of real life, and under other circumstances, the combination wouldn't work, but here it does. The plot involves a porn magazine publisher (Dabney Coleman) who is secretly in cahoots with a right-wing preacher (Christopher Plummer, of all people, doing a letter-perfect take-off of Pat Robertson). Aykroyd's Friday even has a love interest, the Virgin Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) who is as off-the-wall in her own way as Friday is his, so they make an ideal couple. The film was only a modest hit, and it certainly wasn't Dan Aykroyd's most successful movie in terms of box-office but its in my eyes a classic comedy and worth checking out
October 19, 2010
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

Silly and dated but loved as a child
September 29, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Sgt. Joe Friday: Just the facts ma'am.
    – Submitted by Estella B (15 months ago)
    1. Narrator: The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. For example George Baker is now called Silvia Wiss.
    – Submitted by Joey C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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